Now, more than ever EP is another step in the Zombies' never-ending development
Reviewed By Thomas Herron
Flatbush has exploded in terms of popularity since 2018, dropping an album of the year candidate then with Vacation in Hell and spotlighting on one of the best collective projects in years on Beast Coast’s Escape From New York.
The Zombies have shown tremendous project-to-project growth from their mixtape days and even through Escape from New York and the trio’s opposing styles have become their greatest strength. Each project seems to showcase a new discovery amongst the trio, a different lead in terms of sound, or the constant improvement of each rappers prior weaknesses.
Even on a 6 song ep, the Zombies’ range is on full display, showcasing their ability to manipulate their sound to fit different subgenres from the Meechy Darko-led sound on “quicksand” to the Erik-led melody of “Blessings.”
The combination of innovative production and melody, largely driven by Erik’s production and sound, with the energy and bounce Juice adds to a track is topped off by Meechy’s impassioned and breath-taking bars.
Meechy’s voice is one of his biggest appeals, but at times it can even take away from the reality that his verses are always extremely complex and delivered with an energy lacking in the hip hop world today. Meechy sounds like he’s flattening his lungs at times just to get his bars out, and that passion and energy has for the first time truly carried over to the delivery of Juice and Erik.
Hitting lead-off on “iamlegend,” Meechy’s gritty and overwhelming energy immediately grabs the listener to set-up for Juice’s different method of attack for the beat. Even though the EP is short, the fact that Flatbush is a group of three individually talented artists allows their songs to flip and change constantly so that the listener never loses attention.
“Quicksand” showcases how the grittiness of Meechy’s sound can be molded to be so deceivingly melodic, allowing him to relay the same level of energy and emotion as when he’s just rapping his ass off in a more personal context and leaving it all on track.
Flatbush never fails to incorporate every aspect of music that the listener could possibly search for through the project, mastering their own melodic ability and innovation, as well as their delivery and the complexity of the rhymes, all while managing for their songs to successfully display the emotions and energies they intended.
Six songs for their first solo project since 2018, for a group of three artists, is naturally a bit disappointing but the attention to detail in composition is always evident and perfectly balancing of the three’s individual sounds, allowing for a consistent enough sound to show these aren’t necessarily just album cuts.
The Zombies get misconstrued as drug rap too often due to the depth of production, their constant energy and obviously songs titled things like “Herb” help to perpetuate that, but the group never fails to stay true to self in their content, constantly infusing impassioned bars with not only unorthodox flows but deep emotion.
The continued development of Erik as the driver for the melody of Flatbush has allowed for them to all become more experimental with their own tones and sounds to display emotion more effectively. Along with the core hip hop driven sound of Meechy and Juice’s constant hype and eagerness on track, the possibilities for the trio are endless and this project serves as an exciting preview of what’s to come with their next LP.
Being a 6 song EP is it's obvious weakness and some of the songs are pointed towards certain types of listening more than typical for the Zombies, but the cohesiveness and overall versatility make every FBZ drop a must-listen.